Last week, we discussed women and retirement planning. If you are part of a couple, you also need to examine your present spending habits because these can affect how much money you will have as you age.
Whether you see a financial planner on your own or as part of a couple, you and your partner need to discuss money at home to make sure you are in sync. These are not always the easiest discussions to have, but they are very beneficial in the long run, both for your financial health and for the health of the relationship.
Don’t let dysfunctional spending get a grip on your household. Knowing that money stress hurts marriages and other partnerships, sit down together to set a spending strategy. If you work out how much each person will contribute to household expenses, then you can prevent tensions that may arise.
You need to know what kind of money is being spent to pay bills and to keep your household running. In order to get a better understanding of how your money is being spent, you and your spouse or partner can keep track of spending for a specified period of time (a week or a month). Keep receipts for every expense or a journal of what you are spending. Note what is spent on items for the household (food, paper products) and what is discretionary spending (lunch, clothing).
Here are some books that can help you if you want more information on how couples can handle finances:
Money Harmony: Resolving Money Conflicts in Your Life and Relationships by Olivia Mellan
- You can also visit the author’s website to take a Money Personality Quiz.
Get Financially Naked: How to Talk Money with Your Honey by Manisha Thakor and Sharon Kedar
Getting the Love You Want: A Guide for Couples by Harville Hendrix